Bee species rediscovered after 65 years

A species of bee believed to be extinct in Britain has been found in East Sussex, 65 years after it was last seen

A study by entomologist Steven Falk shows the Halictus eurygnathus,  a solitary species of bee, is at seven sites on the South Downs.

Falk found that the main requirement of the bee is an abundance of greater knapweed, which is one of the special flowers of chalk grassland.

The study also recorded a total of 227 bee and wasp species during more than 100 visits to 15 chalk grassland and chalky heath sites.

But, the study also found that one of Britain’s largest mining bees, the Andrena hattorfiana, is becoming increasingly rare. It depends on scabious plants and is believed to be vulnerable to habitat loss caused by grazing on the South Downs.

The study highlights the importance of having wildflower margins and blackthorn trees for bee populations.

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